After New York State Governor Cuomo announced that gyms will not be a part of Phase 4 as expected (along with malls and movie theaters), local officials and business owners on Long Island are insisting that their plans be adopted to reopen in July.
Governor Cuomo announced last week that gyms, malls and movie theaters cannot reopen as a part of Phase 4 until the Health Department studies the effects of air-filtering systems on coronavirus. The question is if these systems will spread the disease and if there are filters that can prevent it.
On Long Island, Hempstead Town officials and local gym owners recently announced that they are banding together to ask New York State to begin the safe reopening of gyms and fitness studios on Long Island.
Other reports said that gym owners are seeking to file a class-action lawsuit against the state if it doesn’t reconsider.
New York state officials are studying ways for gyms to reopen, watching how other states are handling the matter before they are ready to reopen them.
“Gyms and fitness studios play a vital role in our township by supporting the local economy and promoting the maintenance and enhancement of physical and mental health,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin. “These men and women are not just business owners, they are dedicated members of our communities and deserve a chance to reopen, but in the safest manner for staff and for the public.”
Officials gathered in front of Sportset Health and Fitness Club in Rockville Centre with several gym and fitness center operators who committed to provide a safe environment for their customers. They urged state and local health officials to work with the gym and fitness industry to get the businesses reopened in a timely and safe manner as COVID-19 statistics continue to improve in the New York area.
Clavin cited other efforts to help Long Island back to the post-quarantine world safely, providing essential services to residents throughout the pandemic, establishing food banks, assisting healthcare facilities and small businesses, promoting outdoor dining options and the safe opening of town beaches, parks and other recreation options for residents.
“During this ‘new normal,’ we’ve been open to ideas and are happy to work collaboratively with gym operators and all business owners to work toward safe reopenings,” he said.
Clavin said that the businesses have a plan to reopen that includes:
- Social distancing guidelines, signage and markers indicating a safe, six-foot distance between gym-goers, trainers and other staff members.
- PPE, including face masks and gloves, required for staff. Clients required to wear face coverings as well, except while vigorously training.
- Enhanced cleaning protocols that include regular rigorous deep-cleaning and disinfecting processes and the usage of CDC-approved virus-killing cleaning products.
- Regular symptom checkups of trainers and all staff members.
- Temperature checks upon entering the facility for both clients and staff members.
- Increased hand sanitizer stations, touchless soap dispensers and disinfectant wipes throughout the facility.
- Limiting capacity and spreading out training and class appointments.
“The health and safety of our clients and team is always our priority and we’re going the extra mile to protect them,” said George Mifsud, owner of G2 Training located in Syosset. “Gyms and fitness studios are essential for the body and mind, and many of us are working hard to ensure that we can reopen and remain open in a safe manner for all.”